What cures the cold and panic of Snowmageddeon '10 better than anything?
Why, casserole, of course.
In the 1972 edition of Casseroles and More Casseroles
, Mettja C. Roate promised 140 pages of casserole love, but by the time I reached page fifteen I realized Roate might not be the master of baked flavor combos.
For Beef, Nuts 'n Noodles, Roate suggests browning ground beef in butter and then adding canned beef gravy, cream of mushroom soup, sliced green olives, half-and-half and canned mushrooms.
In a casserole dish, layer the beef mixture with fine egg noodles and shredded mozzerella. Halfway through the baking time, top with mixed nuts.
When I cracked the oven to add the nuts, my two hound dogs, Chloe and Murphy, came running. Murphy sported a line of drool that was close to a foot long.
By the time the casserole finished cooking, the dogs had wedged their 50-pound bodies in front of the oven, moaning, "We need casserole! We need casserole to live!"
And no wonder they were so excited. The creation in the casserole dish looked like a mix of canned Alpo and vomit. That's caviar and black truffles in the dog world.
My husband and I gagged down a bite each. It squeaked. The overcooked mushrooms and olives had turned into acrid rubber with a hint of beef-type product and the delicate mush of overcooked noodles.
Drool puddles dotted the kitchen floor. I set the plate on the floor, since these are the most docile, lazy, elderly hounds in the world. You can take food directly out of their mouths and they don't mind. Well, they mind, but they don't go crazy.
Having to share a plate of Nut 'N Noodle Chow? The twelve-year-old basset hound, for the first time in her life, snarled like a rabid dingo. Both hounds jumped to their hind legs, front paws clutching the other's, teeth bared, prepared to fight to the death over repulsive casserole.
It took two humans to separate them.
The only reason to make this casserole is to train dogs for illegal fighting. Might as well outlaw the casserole itself and make law enforcement's job easier.Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom and is a regular contributor to Gut Check. After years of making and eating fancy food, Robin is sick of it all. She's returning to the basics: recipes that haven't surfaced in three decades. She reports on the results every Monday.